For an example of technological wonder alloyed with terrible consequences, consider the refinery. On the one hand, this is the drug lab of the oil addiction of the world. The stuff it makes is bad for the world's health, and the money it makes move around causes hellacious trouble. On the other hand, a refinery takes sticky smelly black crude oil and turns it into the stuff of plastic bags and medicines, pantyhose, gasoline for the infernal combustion engine, Jet-A, brilliant paints and dyes, computer components, cheap toys and cheap furniture, lubricants that keep the moving parts of machines moving…. Note the intricacy of the pipes in the cracking towers. The camera didn't register, but the eye could see, hundreds of lights glinting in the towers. At night from an airplane at low altitude, this thing is a fairy castle of glittering lights, vapors, and fire. What happens in there is genuine magic – not benign white magic. But magic.
Texas City refineries.